Buses and their content

Buses.
Sometimes you seem them passing by without anyone, sometimes they’re even more filled with people than H&M at the first day of sales. Living where I live, I don’t often have to use buses, nor trains. As a real Flemish girl, I just go by bike. Or by car, if I find a driver. But sometimes, buses are way easier. When my mother and I go shopping in Antwerp, for example, we refuse to go by car. Parking isn’t really a cheap hobby… And driving isn’t either.

A really Flemish bus

If you’re lucky, it can be fun to be on a bus. This time, we got in a conversation with a very nice dude (if you read this, dude, hi!). It was really fun talking to him. It’s amusing how many things you tell each other, but when leaving the bus, you don’t even know each other’s name. And still, by now, we know what he’s studying, what he has done already, to which school he went, his opinion on euthanasia and everything.

A small sidenote: we went shopping, but in the end, we returned home with only a Mucha calendar. Pathetic.

On our way back, I’ve been busy with listening to other people’s conversations. There were two girls who were saying stuff like ‘I’ll miss our week’, ‘Maybe we’ll be living together next year!’ and everything. Later on, one of them left the bus and the other had a phone call.

“Hi girl!” (in English!)
“…”
“Hi boy!”
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Stuh.” (No clue at all what she meant by that.)
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Stuh.”
“…”
“Woohoohooo!”
“…”
“Yes.”
“…”
“Woohoohoo!”
And so on.

I always try to guess what’s going on. But sometimes, you don’t have to guess. Once, there was a woman in the same bus as us, talking very loudly about her being lesbian. It was like everyone had to know.
“One of those girls immediately knew! That was so weird! SHe just knew it and I hadn’t told her! Did you expect me to be like this?”
The friend answered more silently: “No no, not really.”
“Yes, what I thought! People sometimes just know it, that’s weird!”
During this monologue, the friend murmured something every now and then, but her investment to the conversation was really small.

Sometimes, I’m too busy listening to other people’s conversations. Than I try to formulate a sentence while listening to the woman behind me (“He can arrange it for forty euros! Yes! I’ll call her to tell her!”), and then I go like: “Yes, I find it… rather… good… I think…”, “Maybe… you might… be… right.” My sentences fail because of my lack of concentration. I just feel the urge to follow up everything happening in other people’s lives. And if I don’t feel that urge, I don’t always have a choice… “YES HE CAN DO IT FOR FORTY EUROS. FORTY. YES. I’LL CALL HIM BACK THEN, OKAY?”

Buses.
Interesting places for sure…

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15 Comments

  1. Buses are incredibly trashy where I am. City subways are the closest I ever engage in. You see some strange things, especially the later in the night you ride them.

    Is Brussells a dangerous place? Someone told me everyone there is a pickpocket.

    Reply
    • Depends on the part you’re at. And you shouldn’t walk alone at night, but you shouldn’t do that in the city where I live either. Don’t go running around on your own and use your common sense.
      Like everywhere else in the world :).
      Brussels is a great place to visit, by the way, especially if you want to see a statue of a little guy peeing. Just sayin’.

      Reply
  2. A gripping life

     /  September 13, 2012

    Okay this is unrelated. I just found out that I have a whole string of ancestors from Antwerp! Yes! generations and generations going all the way back to the 1400’s! Maybe further? Maybe we’re related from 100’s of years ago! Haha! Wouldn’t that be funny?

    I liked your post, it made me laugh – the idea of you listening to conversations : )

    Reply
    • Woah, that’s awesome! Of course I respect your privacy, but if you wouldn’t mind privacy, it would be fun to know your last name :). Imagine that we’re related! It’s possible though. People have been going to America ever since it was ‘opened’. You make me so curious now! 🙂
      (Hey, I’ve got an e-mailaddress in case you’d like to share that last name with just me 😉 ) (Don’t feel forced!)

      Reply
  3. I have that same problem, where I’m so busy eavesdropping I don’t hear what I’m supposed to hear. That’s the key to good dialogue though, good listening. It’ll help you avoid the E.L. James travesty of dialogues…

    Reply
    • Haha, it seems like E. L. James isn’t really popular on the net, is it? 🙂
      It’s just so nice to guess what is going on in other people’s lives… I can’t help it… 🙂

      Reply
  4. Addie

     /  September 14, 2012

    Eavesdropping should be an Olympic sport!!

    Reply
    • Great idea! Imagine :). There should be Games with sports like eavesdropping, running in heels, lying and other stuff that’s way harder than people might think!

      Reply
  5. It’s good to know that I am not the only one who likes listening in on bus convos. Especially here in the UK when people are speaking a language I know but the don’t know I know.

    Ahhh yes….

    Reply
    • Haha, that’s sneaky :). Sometimes I imagine having a conversation in another language, so that no one could understand me… Must be a great feeling!

      Reply
  6. Antwerp is a great name for a city. An-twerpppp. I might be pronouncing that wrong.

    You really can’t help but listen in on cellphone conversations because they seem to think that the cell phone doesn’t relay sound well enough so they have to SHOUT INTO THEM. One day I was at the mall, and there was a lady saying into her phone, “I’m here . . . at the mall . . . in the food court . . . THE FOOD COURT!” I wanted to grab the phone and say “Yeah, idiot, FOOD COURT!”

    And other times they will talk about the most personal things. “My rash? Yes . . . much bigger and with lots of green pus . . . down there yes . . . I think it was David . . . or yeah, maybe Scott . . . hmm, could be Louise . . . yeah, it’s really oozing . . . ” Etc.

    Reply
    • Yes, people tend to think the other can’t hear them! That’s so true :).
      I would never dare to discuss such things in public. I mean, they must know everyone can hear them, right? And that’s just… embarrassing. For everyone.

      Reply
  7. People on buses here speak so many different languages, it’s like the Tower of Babel

    Reply
    • Here, people speak Dutch and that’s about it. 🙂
      Where do you live then?

      Reply
      • Ottawa, Canada. So many immigrants that everywhere you go you hear (well, other than the two official languages) Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Finnish, and so many others. It’s very cool

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